Pixels & Pages

Calling all creative teens! Send us your best poetry, stories, and artwork! Accepted entries will be featured on this page, with a chance to be published in Pixels & Pages, our annual Teen Magazine! Submit your work at any MCPL location, or online at www.mcpl.us/teenzone/publishing.
OCTOBER 25, 2012
Revenge is Supernatural
Faster. I tell myself, if only I could will myself to run faster. Just for a moment I glance behind me and scream. It was practically right on my heels. So close I could smell its foul stench. “Leave me alone!” I yell. “I don’t have what you want!” Suddenly, my feet fall from under me and I am falling into the Halloween night air.

But, I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s begin where my story begins; midday. At about noon I received a phone call from the police station. “Hello, this is Karmen.” I say, bored. “This is Officer Vanderwaal, Karmen. Last night around midnight my police force discovered your cousin’s body at the bottom the hiking trail.” My hands shake and my legs wobble beneath me. Body usually means… dead. “This- this must be a mistake.” I utter. On the other side of the line I hear a sigh. “It is no mistake, Karmen. Your cousin, Evan, is dead. I’m sorry for your loss.” I shake my head, willing it to go away. “No,” I say, “No, no. It’s not true.” The phone slips from my grasp and I run through the house to my mother’s study.

“Karmen, are you okay? You look a little pale.” She says. But I’m already in her arms, sobbing. “The police said Evan is dead.” I wail into her cashmere sweater. Her hand rubs circles on my back, calming me. I pull away and she looks into my oddly colored eyes, purple. “Do you know if he left while you were with him last night?” I scrunch my nose and look at her as if she went crazy. “I wasn’t with him yesterday. I was at Lillian’s house.” Her eyes widen a bit in surprise. “That was the day before, Karmen… What do you remember about yesterday?” I try tapping into my memory from yesterday night. “Nothing at all…” I say. She lets out a squeak and grabs her mobile phone, punching in a few numbers. “Yes, Officer Vanderwaal? Karmen can’t remember anything about last night. Yes I’ll talk to her. Thank you, Officer.”

She sets the phone down on her cluttered desk and looks at me. “Karmen...” “I don’t want to talk!” I shout, pulling away from her lingering touch. I stomp off to my bedroom and slam the door behind me, locking it tight. I fling myself onto my bed and will myself to cry out my sorrow and anger. My thoughts go back to Evan. How could someone kill an innocent seventeen year old? I delay my sob fest to grab my bear claw necklace that Evan made for me for my sweet sixteenth birthday. I smile through my tears at the memory. The moment turns sour though when I glance over at my door.

A woman stands in front of it. I scream at the top of my lungs. The woman smiles viscously, her scruffy hair matted with sticky blood, which is also running down one side of her face, and a dirty, torn wedding dress. “He deserved to die.” Her low scratchy voice comes. A wail lodges in my throat as I stare at her in horror. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from her in terror of what she might do to me. “You…?” I choke. Her smile becomes more sinister. I lunge for my window and pound on the glass. “Help! Help me!” I yell. “You expect to be spared as well? Don’t you, Karmen?” The woman wonders aloud. “Leave me alone!” I shout back. Next thing I know she charges at me, clenching my hair in her tight grip. “Don’t talk back to me, Karmen! You will get what is coming to you soon.” One of her fingers lightly traces my neck. My eyes squeeze shut, I breathe hard. I hear my mom yell from the other side of my door and running footsteps. The door bursts open and she scoops me up off the floor.

“Oh, Karmen!” she pets my hair. I open my eyes, confused. The horrible zombie-like woman is gone. Uniformed officers are in my room staring at me and my bedroom wall. “What happened?” I ask. I see my mom lick her thumb and run over my neck, right where the woman did. I flinch and she shows me her thumb, blood. “What?” I utter, shocked. “Ms. Homes?” an officer calls. My mother turns as the officer points at my wall. She follows his finger and a scream cuts through the quiet of my bedroom. My head turns and I see the same disaster they all see. My drawings are ripped off the wall, the wallpaper has large claw marks in it, and in the center of it is written; You are next, Karmen in blood.

I lay there on my hardwood floor in a small gasping fit. The woman had to have done this. But why? Officer Vanderwaal picks up an object from the floor and holds it up for me to see. “Is this yours, Karmen?” A lump forms in my throat as I nod and sit up against my bed. My necklace from Evan is ruined. He sets the necklace into my hand and my hot salty tears run down my cheeks and into the wound running across my neck. My only connection to my dead cousin is ruined. “What happened?” An officer asks me, kneeling down to talk to me. Suddenly, though, my mind goes blank like a white piece of paper. I shake my head and clutch the memento in my grasp.

The officer stands up, sighing and shakes his head at Vanderwaal. About an hour more of investigating, the police force finally leaves my house. I take a long, hot shower and eat my mom’s special homemade chicken pasta she only makes for holidays, but today is the only exception. Together we sit on the couch, watching the newest episode of Pretty Little Liars. My mother stands up after the episode is over and sighs. “I just remembered that I have to go to the grocery store to buy some more noodles for tomorrow.” I give her a half smile. “It’s almost 6:50, mom.” I point out. “I know,” she says, “I just need to get more for tomorrow so I can make pasta for the family potluck.” “Be careful of trick or treaters!” I remind her on the way out. “I love you, Karmen!” she calls back, slamming the front door shut.

Getting up to stretch I suddenly have an idea, I should go running. I smile at the thought. Running always clears my head. Quickly, I change into sweats and set out around the block. At first, just jogging and listening to the nighttime sounds. But then I hear other footsteps behind me and panting. I glance back over my shoulder and see nothing. I shrug it off and continue on down a worn hikers trail. The footsteps become louder and I panic and begin to run town the path. I peer back behind me once again and see a flash of white.

My memory, from earlier, shows the exact same gauzy white fabric. My memory floods back from last night, that horrifying woman, Evan dying on this trail. I was there. I zigzag through the dark trees in the cool night. Please, somebody help. I silently beg, tears streaming down my face. Next thing I know, the woman is in front of me, talking to me. “Karmen,” she says, somewhat softly, “It had to be done.” “Why?” I demand. “He was my cousin.” “Years and years ago, my husband was killed by your great grandfather.” I swallow the lump in my throat as she continues. “It was unjust how he left. So now I take revenge on all male descendants.”

“Why me?” I ask. “You are only in the way. You know too much.” She whispers lightly. I look at her fearfully. “Why are you telling me all of this?” I beg. A smile appears on her face. “Because, you aren’t leaving alive, Karmen, dear.”

With that, I sprint away from the woman. I now know she can’t be human, inhuman, ghostly. Faster. I tell myself, if only I could will myself to run faster. Just for a moment I glance behind me and scream. It was practically right on my heels. So close I could smell its foul stench. “Leave me alone!” I yell. “I don’t have what you want!” Suddenly, my feet fall from under me and I am falling into the Halloween night air. I land in the bottom of the hiking trail just as Evan did the night before. I just wish I could have told my mother that I loved her one more time. If I could have only remembered, I would have saved us all before I died. Tomorrow, Officer Vanderwaal will discover me in the crime scene as he goes to take more pictures. Right next to Evan.

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Categories: Teen Publishing Project2012-13Short Story/Essay